More and more families today are asking wonderful questions with respect to their health.
Some parents may do this because
- they are tired of living in “House Lock Down” as one by one, family members flake with colds, sniffles and the latest flu.
- other families may be searching for “lifestyle advice” as they have noticed that their ‘little ones’ just simply don’t have the same level of zest or vitality that other children do.
As parents, not only do we want our children to have ‘the inner confidence’ to discover the world around them but we also want our children to have confidence in their health. We want them to grow and develop knowing they can conquer the world physically and emotionally.
So if we desire a new level of health for our family where do we begin?
As a health practitioner and a mother of four I am completely aware that there is a lot to learn when it comes to strengthening and inspiring health. A task that requires consistency, stealth and a little creative genius.
Here are some initial steps your family could try as you begin navigating your lifestyle habits towards wellness.
1) Examine the Family’s Current Health Philosophy.
When embarking on strengthening health it is imperative to know exactly where you are starting out and self-examination allows us to gauge the influence our current philosophy has on the choices we make. Thereby clarifying if the health culture of the family is focused towards illness behaviour or is it focused towards wellness?
Ask yourself when one of your children becomes sick does the family have a ritual that encourages illness behaviour? For example, does their predicament involve them lying on the couch while parents or grandparents make them soups and meals, or bow to their every whim. Does the following dialogue sound familiar, “Oh you poor thing sweetheart, can I put on a movie for you? Can I make you something special to eat? We’d better go and see the doctor” Celebrity attention is a strong motivating factor, and a force that would drive most of us, let alone a child, to be sick or unwell more often than not.
Tender loving care is indeed important and necessary, the wording we use however is vital. A family focused on wellness will discuss illness in a positive light. “When I hear that big cough of yours I think your body must be working really hard to fight those bugs, how about we think of some things we could do support the body’s army?” Or “You seem to have quite a high temperature honey, which is your body’s clever way of slowing you down so that it can focus on fighting bugs. What do you think your body might want you to do to help it shake off this cough quickly?”
Children tend to adopt the habits promoted by their parents and just as illness behaviour is learnt, the benefits of robust, good health will need to be observed, promoted and engrained.
Let’s take a moment to examine your family’s current health habits and ascertain whether unconsciously we may have been promoting illness oriented lifestyle habits that may have impacted our health status. It is a great idea to answer and record these questions, which will then enable you to be able to look back in twelve months time and celebrate how far your family has progressed.
Let’s examine your current base line. How do you rate when you consider the following questions?
Try to write down a specific number for each question.
- How many days off from work due to illness would both parents or guardians have? How many days off from school being sick would your children have ?
- How often would each family member visit their GP for health problems each year ?
- How many prescriptions would your family fill each year ?
- How would you rate your health from 0-10, if 10 meant exceptional vitality?
- How much water would each family member drink each day?
- How many pieces (fist size) of fruit and vegetables would you each consume on a daily basis?
- How much raw food (i.e.-uncooked) would each consume per day?
- How many times a week would your family eat out or have take away meals?
- How much food would your family consume each day or week, that has a shelf life longer than a few days? Meaning any food that is not in its natural state.
- How many times a week does each family member par take in sweaty (increased heart rate) exercise? With little children this will include vigorous exercise such as “chase” or running around at the park where their cheeks go red and they sound breathless.
- How much time do I spend each week reading, googling and investigating my family’s personal care products, food purchases etc?
2) Move towards STRENGTHENING health rather than looking for alternatives for Sick Care
An important distinction for a family motivated to move towards wellness is that it is important to realise we need to consistently invest in our health not just focus on rebuilding health when we are unwell.
This topic can create a little confusion allow me to explain. If we utilise naturopathy, chinese medicine or homeopathy (which are wonderful resources discussed in step 3) as a therapy or treatment for an ailment and as an alternative to antibiotics for example, then we are acting too late.
While these therapies are often extremely effective and safe, if they (or any other therapy) are being used in a manner such as “take this homeopathic for this condition” then this is still a treatment approach. Families focused on well-being will utilise the skills of these therapists when ailments arise, however they will predominantly focus on and commit to — consistent and regular wellness habits which promote vitality so few “treatments”, if any, are deemed necessary.
When it comes to living the wellness lifestyle: 5 factors are imperative. These include a healthy nervous system, a wholesome diet, quality sleep, exercise and a positive mental attitude. A healthy nervous system is paramount as your brain and nervous system co-ordinate the body’s inner intelligence, and in doing so, millions of vital bodily functions. Instructions are sent via your nervous system to the cells and organs of the body, directing in turn respiration, immune responses, digestion and growth. Your nervous system also governs your thoughts, your ability to concentrate, the quality of your sleep and energy levels. Chiropractic is a true “health enabler” as it promotes full expression of your nervous system.
More and more chiropractors are explaining to families the benefits of regularly investing in their health and more and more families are enjoying the confidence and security, good health provides. Chiropractic maximises each individual’s genetic capacity for optimal health.
Please also see related posts:
Further Ways To Navigate Your Family Towards Wellness – Steps 3 and 4
Further Ways To Navigate Your Family Towards Wellness – Steps 5 and 6
Further Ways To Navigate Your Family Towards Wellness – Steps 7,8,9 and 10